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The Darley July Cup

3.00pm Newmarket

Ten Sovereigns
  • Distance 6f
  • Class 1
  • Group 1
  • Prize money £500,000
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If you want a tip as to which horse will end the season as Europe’s top sprinter, then look no further than Newmarket’s Darley July Cup.

One of the most valuable and prestigious sprints of the British Flat racing calendar, the July Cup has a record of attracting the best contenders.

Jockey Hayley Turner had cause to celebrate in 2011 as she became the second woman to win a British Group 1 race on board the David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead. Run over six furlongs (1,200 metres) of the July Course, the Darley July Cup is open to three-year-olds or older while in 2013 Lethal Force smashed the track record with a pillar-to-post victory. In 2014 Slade Power followed in Lethal Force’s footsteps, winning both the Diamond Jubilee and the Darley July Cup.

Queen Victoria may have been hard to amuse but the first two runnings of this race, in 1876-7, must have raised a faint smile. Both were won by Springfield, who was bred by the monarch.

Current leading jockeys: John Egan, Paul Hanagan and Adam Kirby – all 2 wins
Current leading trainers:
Aidan O’Brien, 5 wins (1999, 2001, 2010, 2018, 2019).

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money




No/Draw Horse/Jockey Age Form/Type BHA Rating Weight Trainer Odds


Ten Sovereigns trounces rivals to land gamble


Ten Sovereigns was a superb winner of in the £500,000 Darley July Cup at Newmarket – the fourth leg in the Sprint category of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

He was the subject of some strong support and was sent off a 9-2 chance as Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore altered tactics on last year’s Middle Park Stakes winner.

Having run respectably when fifth in the 2000 Guineas, he was disappointing in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot when a well-beaten fourth behind Advertise.

Back on a sound surface, though, he had no trouble in turning that form around as his Ascot conqueror gave vain chase, but could only get within two and three-quarter lengths – despite the best efforts of Frankie Dettori.

Fairyland, a stablemate of the winner, came home third while Michael Bell’s Pretty Pollyanna was fourth.

O’Brien said: “He ran in the three six-furlong races in a month last year and we saw what he did. We slowed him down all winter to try to help him get a mile.

“He ran in the Guineas and nearly got a mile. When we ran him further than his distance, he felt it.

“It took him a bit of time to come out of Newmarket. He was just ready to go to Ascot, but we hadn’t really woken him up to go sprinting.

“He went to Ascot and ran a very good race and was finishing well. He looked like a horse that mentally hadn’t really clicked in yet.”

He added: “His work was unbelievable and his times were unbelievable. His last piece of work, he broke 11 seconds every furlong for four furlongs. For a horse to be doing that is very quick.

Advertise’s trainer Martyn Meade felt the race had not worked out in his runner’s favour.

He said: “He was never going to make up that ground and the winner won very well. What can you do? It’s a shame we held him so much at Ascot. It wasn’t to be today.

“It was different ground and he didn’t quicken out as one would hoped he would have done. The whole thing was a muddling race.

“If you could run it again it might be different but you can’t. It is no disgrace.

“You only get those odd chances to win the July Cup and he (Aidan O’Brien) could share it out a bit! It was no disgrace – he has won two Group Ones and has come second in a July Cup.”


Position Horse Jockey Trainer Owner
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The Course

Newmarket is known as the “Home of Racing” - and who would argue?

Certainly not James I, the first notable fan who built a palace in the Suffolk town in 1605. Racing fanatic Charles II followed suit, establishing the first horse race ever run in Britain under written rules. The Rowley Mile Racecourse, indeed – one of two at Newmarket, the other being the July Course – is named after his favourite hack, Old Rowley.

Today, Newmarket is horseracing’s centre of the Universe, with 2,500 thoroughbreds in training, shared by 75 licensed trainers and spread out over 2,800 acres of training grounds. Oh, and there’s also enough space left over for 65 stud farms, including the National Stud, and Tattersalls, the biggest horse sales company in Europe.

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas, one of Britain’s five Classics, is hosted by Newmarket. The race was first run in 1809. The venue also stages the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.

Getting there

Newmarket Racecourses,
Westfield House,
The Links,

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